FAO and IICA partnered to strengthen the production and market access capacity of the Dominica Beekeepers Cooperative Society
Roseau, March 11, 2021(IICA) - The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), partnered in the implementation of a regional project, intended to support specific activities of the Global Action Programme on Food Security and Nutrition in Small Island Developing States. The key objective of the project was to build capacity of farmers organization in six Caribbean countries including Dominica. The Project was funded by FAO with IICA being responsible for implementing activities in the countries. A key output under the project was a mapping and assessment of capacity, of two producer groups in each of the six countries. One of the two producer groups selected in Dominica was the Dominica Beekeepers Cooperative, an organization that IICA has worked with over the years.
Under the project, emphasis was placed on addressing some of the main challenges faced by members of the Beekeepers Cooperative including deficiencies in the area of marketing of their products and the need for bee supplements to improve product quality. Consequently, the collaborating agencies proceeded to source supplements to sustain the beehives in the form of Bee Patties which are a high protein pollen substitute for bees. It is anticipated that the supplement will sustain the beehives during the rainy season when there is a significant reduction in the pollen supply. The result is that the beekeepers will have adequate supply of food for the bees, thereby sustaining honey production year-round and contributing to increased resilience in the apiculture industry. Overall, it is hoped that the FAO and IICA will continue to support the industry and this intervention will result in not only continued domestic supply but also the exploration of increased intra-regional trade opportunities. In a recent meeting among IICA technicians from across the region, the focus on supporting the efforts of producers to find regional markets was highlighted. Allister Glean, Technical Specialist with IICA, committed to working with Mr. Kent Coipel to support the producers in this thrust.
A handing over ceremony took place on Tuesday, 10th February during which 11 beekeepers received Bee Patties in the first instance. Present at the handing over ceremony were: Mr. Kent Coipel, Technical Specialist of the IICA Delegation in Dominica; Mr. Ryan Anselm, Local FAO Correspondent and Technical Officer for Projects and Services in the Ministry of Blue and Green Economy, Agriculture and Food Security; Dr. Lennox St. Aimee, Veterinary Officer; Dr. Natalia Lugay, Agricultural Officer II (Acting); and recipients of the Bee Patties. Mr. Kent Coipel in delivering brief remarks welcomed the collaboration between IICA and FAO in supporting the Dominica Beekeepers Cooperative in their efforts to strengthen production and market access capacity and achieve increased resilience and sustainability of the apiculture industry in the country. Mr. Coipel urged members of the cooperative to work closely together to further strengthen the organization and coordinate activities in the interest of all members. Mr. Ryan Anselm indicated that the collaboration between IICA and FAO served as an example of what could be achieved when key agencies work together towards a common objective. Mr. Anselm pledged the continued support of FAO and the Ministry towards the development of the apiculture industry.
Institutional Communication Division